President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said on Tuesday that the United States was talking again with China on trade, calling it a “very positive” development.
“Right now we’re having communications at all levels of the U.S. and Chinese governments,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC in an interview. “We’re talking to them again ... so that’s a plus,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser said.
"I think that's very, very, very positive," said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985, as he confirmed reports Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has restarted trade talks with his Chinese counterpart.
The Wall Street Journal late Monday reported Mnuchin and his Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, spoke by phone about a possible future trade deal. During the call, Mnuchin pushed China to offer a formal agreement before the countries begin negotiations, the Journal reported.
Though the conversation did not lead to any breakthrough, the renewed discussions indicate the two sides are trying to reach an accommodation, the Journal reported, citing unnamed officials.
Trade negotiations between the two countries had been put on pause, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last month. The United States has consistently sought concessions from China on intellectual property and technology, as well as tariffs on imports of U.S. goods, Reuters has explained.
The conversation between the financial leaders comes a few weeks after President Donald Trump tweeted about a "long and very good" conversation about trade with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina," Trump said.
Bloomberg reported at the end of October the U.S. is preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if those G-20 talks do not ease tensions.
Washington has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing has responded with $110 billion in retaliatory duties.
Of those tariffs, $200 billion of goods are set to increase from 10 percent to 25 percent Jan. 1, the Journal noted.
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